Published: Thursday, January 25, 2007
Sea-Band wrist strap helps reader sleep, reduce snoring
Q. Thanks for your tip on the acupressure sleep aid. I use a Sea-Band wrist strap that improves my sleep and also helps me fall back to sleep when I wake up.
But the best thing is that it reduces my snoring. Its so effective in reducing snoring that when I forget to wear it, my wife wakes me up so I can put it on.
I even use it for a nap so my snoring won't wake me up. (That happens sometimes in afternoon naps.) I think the reduced-snoring effect is a sleep aid in itself.
A. Sea-Bands are sold to prevent motion sickness. They press on an acupressure point on the inner wrist.
A few years ago, we learned that an acupressure point known as the "Inner Gate," three finger widths from the crease of the wrist between the two tendons, may promote restful sleep.
The few studies we found on sleep and acupressure were done in Korea and Taiwan, where this type of treatment would not seem unusual. We're glad to hear your Sea-Bands not only helped your insomnia but also your snoring.
Q. I've read that drinking tea with milk has a negative effect on human blood vessels. Is this true?
A. A German study showed recently that drinking two cups of black tea relaxes blood vessels, quadrupling blood flow (European Heart Journal, Jan. 9, 2007). But adding milk to the tea counteracts this benefit. So, drinking tea with milk is not bad for you, but it isn't as good for you as drinking black tea.
Q. With all the hubbub about colon cleansers for detoxifying, how do you know what colon-cleaning product is right for you?
There are literally hundreds of Web sites about cleaning and detoxifying your colon, and friends or family members always have a "special home remedy" for that kind of thing. I would be afraid to take something that I might be allergic to. I've also heard that herbal products mixed with prescribed medications are not safe, either.
How is one to choose a product that comes in so many different medical and herbal compounds?
A. The only time most people actually need to clean out their colons is right before a colonoscopy so the doctor can spot any growths (polyps) that might become cancerous. The solution prescribed for that purpose is very effective and contains no herbs. You are correct that herbal laxatives might interact badly with other medicines.
Q. I tried the suggestion of using cornmeal mush for toenail fungus. I used it twice, and after the nail grew out, the fungus was gone. My problem was only with the big toenail, not all the toes.
A. We heard about using cornmeal to fight nail fungus from a gardener in Vicksburg, Miss. He told us to put an inch of cornmeal in a foot bath and cover it with hot water so it can dissolve. Let it cool so you don't burn your feet and then soak them in this mush for an hour.
This is an inexpensive and low-risk approach to nail fungus. We have included it along with many other home remedies, including vinegar, Listerine, tea tree or oregano oil and Vicks VapoRub, in our new book, "Best Choices From The People's Pharmacy" (Rodale Books).
Gardeners sometimes sprinkle cornmeal around rosebushes to discourage fungal infestations such as black spot. Perhaps there is something in this grain that has antifungal properties.
In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of this newspaper or e-mail them via their Web site: www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.
© 2007 King Features Syndicate Inc.